orderly

Orderly/Student Paramedic
Jan 21, 2010
41
0
South Australia, Australia
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Hey guys,

I am sure you have had plenty of these threads before but I felt I needed to ask and tell you my story so I can get appropriate advice.

I am a 19 year old male who lives in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. I have worked at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Adelaide_Hospital) as an Orderly for nearly 2 years now. I currently study the Bachelor of Nursing (Pre-Registration) (so an RN degree) at Flinders University (http://www.flinders.edu.au) but I want to be a Paramedic and am trying to get into the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Paramedic) degree. If I get a GPA of 6 (Distinction) I will have a guaranteed spot in the degree (only a small intake, approx. 100 students a year). Currently my GPA is 5.5 after one semester and my first year of uni ever. Apparently students in 2010 were accepted into the Paramedic degree with a GPA 5.5.

I want to be a Paramedic because I have a strong interest in Emergency Medicine and trauma. I love working in my ED at work because its so interesting and just a cool place to work. I like the idea of being able to drive around, not necessarily knowing what each will bring and the fact that you can really intervene and help people duirng some crazy moments in their life. Also, unlike the perception I get from what I see in the States, Paramedics are paid very well here (better than most RN's) and are highly respected (especially by the community). While I don't want to work as a Nurse, I would like to finish that degree at some point. I have garnered a lot of influence from a close family friend whose name is A/Prof Bill Griggs AM ASM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Griggs - have a read, crazy career!). He has helped me on my journey so far and his wife (also a Dr) tutors me in Anat & Phys. I was allowed to have a day of clinical placement with MedSTAR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MedSTAR) which I absolutely LOVED and I know that I want to work in the pre-hopsital/retrieval field.

Since I have started my studies, I have had 5 people tell me I should be doing Medicine. The first was a radiographer at work who is currently studying Medicine post-graduate, then Bill's wife/my tutor, then the Director of Gynaecology/Gynaeoncology at the RAH who told me this within 10 minutes of meeting me (he has known my mum who has told him a lot about me for while), a mature aged nursing student and one of my university lecturers. She works in the PARU of another major hospital in my state and said that she has an RN that works with her who has had 14 years experience in aged care and has recently done her Crit Care to work in Recovery. My lecturer said that she would prefer to have me at my current level of study next to her in the PARU because she believes in my skills far more than the 14 year experience nurse. She also said that my level of knowledge and my ability to link theory and practice are above my year level and are seen in post-graduate studies.

Having said all this I do not personally feel smart enough to do Med. I suppose I have never really seen myself as a Doctor, but that may be because for years as a kid and through my teenage years I never wanted to do anything close to medicine because I never wanted to be anything like my father who is an ophthalmologist. Also, I don't want to work in a hospital per say, I want to be in pre-hospital. I know that I can't just walk into uni and say 'I want to be a Emerge Med/Retrieval Doc thanks!' finish my degree and hop into the helicopter. Also I am unsure if all the effort involved in studying medicine (even if I do post-grad) is worth the pay off in the end?

I dunno, I suppose I want to hear what other people think? Ask any questions you see fit and I am sorry for the life story! I better get back to writing this stupid 1000 word summary of a research article....
 

Doctor D

10+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2008
422
21
Status
Medical Student
You don't have to be smart to become a doctor, you just have to be more dedicated than the smarter guy. Medicine is more about memorization and less about difficult concepts like you find in physics. It is just extremely time intensive.
 

docB

Chronically painful
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2002
7,742
218
Las Vegas, NV
Status
Attending Physician
This question will get better responses in Pre Allo than in EM. If you have any specific questions about EM or about the transition from EMS to medicine plese feel free to ask in EM or in the EMS forum.

Moving to Pre Allo.
 
Nov 5, 2010
4
0
Status
Medical Student
If I were going to pick of a field of medicine for you, it would be surgery/trauma, because then you would have the chance to intervene and save lives in very critical moments.

I guess my question to you would be-- are you comfortable spending your entire life getting people from the field to the hospital and then handing them off to doctors? or will you secretly wish you were one of those doctors taking the patient from there? If the latter is the case... I'd say go to medical school
 
Feb 1, 2010
245
0
Ohio
Status
Pre-Medical
This is a very difficult decision to make and I sympathize with you because it's most certainly a life-altering one. Unfortunately, I can't offer you much advise because this is a personal decision. It sounds like your passion is in ER/trauma and there are many careers you can pursue that involve that specialty. Only you can decide of medical school is right for you. All I can say is make sure you look at everything with a fair mind. Consider the pros and cons and the realities of each career. Medicine is all-consuming, involving years and years of commitment--are you ready for that? Perhaps you should consider the PA track? Anyways, best of luck to you with your decision. I hope we both come up with the right one, lol. :laugh:
 
Apr 15, 2010
52
0
Oak Park, IL
Status
Medical Student
Hey guys,

I am sure you have had plenty of these threads before but I felt I needed to ask and tell you my story so I can get appropriate advice.

I am a 19 year old male who lives in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. I have worked at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Adelaide_Hospital) as an Orderly for nearly 2 years now. I currently study the Bachelor of Nursing (Pre-Registration) (so an RN degree) at Flinders University (http://www.flinders.edu.au) but I want to be a Paramedic and am trying to get into the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Paramedic) degree. If I get a GPA of 6 (Distinction) I will have a guaranteed spot in the degree (only a small intake, approx. 100 students a year). Currently my GPA is 5.5 after one semester and my first year of uni ever. Apparently students in 2010 were accepted into the Paramedic degree with a GPA 5.5.

I want to be a Paramedic because I have a strong interest in Emergency Medicine and trauma. I love working in my ED at work because its so interesting and just a cool place to work. I like the idea of being able to drive around, not necessarily knowing what each will bring and the fact that you can really intervene and help people duirng some crazy moments in their life. Also, unlike the perception I get from what I see in the States, Paramedics are paid very well here (better than most RN's) and are highly respected (especially by the community). While I don't want to work as a Nurse, I would like to finish that degree at some point. I have garnered a lot of influence from a close family friend whose name is A/Prof Bill Griggs AM ASM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Griggs - have a read, crazy career!). He has helped me on my journey so far and his wife (also a Dr) tutors me in Anat & Phys. I was allowed to have a day of clinical placement with MedSTAR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MedSTAR) which I absolutely LOVED and I know that I want to work in the pre-hopsital/retrieval field.

Since I have started my studies, I have had 5 people tell me I should be doing Medicine. The first was a radiographer at work who is currently studying Medicine post-graduate, then Bill's wife/my tutor, then the Director of Gynaecology/Gynaeoncology at the RAH who told me this within 10 minutes of meeting me (he has known my mum who has told him a lot about me for while), a mature aged nursing student and one of my university lecturers. She works in the PARU of another major hospital in my state and said that she has an RN that works with her who has had 14 years experience in aged care and has recently done her Crit Care to work in Recovery. My lecturer said that she would prefer to have me at my current level of study next to her in the PARU because she believes in my skills far more than the 14 year experience nurse. She also said that my level of knowledge and my ability to link theory and practice are above my year level and are seen in post-graduate studies.

Having said all this I do not personally feel smart enough to do Med. I suppose I have never really seen myself as a Doctor, but that may be because for years as a kid and through my teenage years I never wanted to do anything close to medicine because I never wanted to be anything like my father who is an ophthalmologist. Also, I don't want to work in a hospital per say, I want to be in pre-hospital. I know that I can't just walk into uni and say 'I want to be a Emerge Med/Retrieval Doc thanks!' finish my degree and hop into the helicopter. Also I am unsure if all the effort involved in studying medicine (even if I do post-grad) is worth the pay off in the end?

I dunno, I suppose I want to hear what other people think? Ask any questions you see fit and I am sorry for the life story! I better get back to writing this stupid 1000 word summary of a research article....
It seems like you want to be more than a paramedic, but not "trapped" in a hospital. You are on your way to nursing, and want to be a paramedic also. I would look into becoming a flight nurse. They have crazy work conditions (can be both a good or bad thing), more responsibility than either a paramedic or nurse would on their own, and see some of the worse-off patients.
 
Jan 5, 2010
884
3
Status
Pre-Medical
It seems like you want to be more than a paramedic, but not "trapped" in a hospital. You are on your way to nursing, and want to be a paramedic also. I would look into becoming a flight nurse. They have crazy work conditions (can be both a good or bad thing), more responsibility than either a paramedic or nurse would on their own, and see some of the worse-off patients.
This sounds like its a good fit to me to. However, you mention something about being a doc flying on a medivec, here in the states choppers are staffed by primarily my medics and nurses, not doctors. Is it different there?
 
OP
orderly

orderly

Orderly/Student Paramedic
Jan 21, 2010
41
0
South Australia, Australia
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Wow guys, thanks for the support! Sorry for posting in the wrong spot and thanks docB for fixing it.

Firstly, yes you are right insofar as I don't want to be trapped in a hospital. At times I wish I could honestly do both; go from the field and all the way through the ED. To be honest, I would still prefer to be outside the hospital slightly more than inside.


In Australia, we have state provided Ambulance services. This means that the South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS - run by the state) is the single emergency ambulance service for all
983,482km² of South Australia. Most of the staff here are Paramedics trained to at least Bachelor of Health Sciences (Paramedic) degree. There are Intensive Care Paramedics, Extended Care Paramedics (like Nurse Practitioners) and Special Operations Team Rescue Paramedics. MedSTAR is the single statewide retrieval service that falls under SAAS. They provide emergency medical transport by road, helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft. For example, some guy has crashed his car into a tree really far away from Adelaide (the capital of my state) where all the major hospitals are. Depending on the situation a helicopter can be dispatched with either a Doctor and a Nurse or a Doctor and a Paramedic on board to the crash scene, or if the patient has been extricated and transported to a small country hospital, we can pick them up from there and fly them back to Adelaide to a major hospital, usually the one I work at. MedSTAR often work in conjunction with the Royal Flying Doctor Service which I am sure you are all familiar with.

But yes, Med school is a tricky option. I don't know if I can put all the effort into it that it requires. I guess I am trying to figure out if I am suited to being a doctor more than I am to being a Paramedic.